Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 11 of 18| Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Cape Coral
61.29, Fla. Stat., provides for child support guidelines principles. These principles do not affect the actual computation of the child support itself, but provide the following:
- Each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.
- The guideline schedule is based on the parents’ combined net incomes estimated to have been allocated to the child as if parents and children were living in an intact household.
- The guidelines encourage fair and efficient settlement of support issues between parents and minimize the need for litigation.
Below please find some general information regarding child support and how it is calculated.
Applications of the Guidelines
- CALCULATION – Following a determination of the gross monthly incomes for each parent, and the appropriate deductions from income allowable under the statute, the net income of each parent is derived. The child support calculation, pursuant to § 61.30, Fla. Stat., is derived by the following computations:
- The parents’ net monthly incomes are combined to determine the total available net income for child support purposes, § 61.30(5);
- The child support guideline schedule is applied to the combined net incomes of the parents to determine the basic or minimum child support need, § 61.30(6), Fla. Stat.;
- If the child support calculation DOES NOT involve the substantial contact adjustment, i.e. where a parent has less than 20% of the overnights, (or less than 73 overnights a year) the costs of health insurance and daycare are added to the basic obligation. If the substantial contact adjustment is appropriate and each parent has 20% or more of the overnights, the adjustments for health insurance and daycare are computed later in the child support calculation. § 61.30(7), Fla. Stat. and (8);
- Each parent’s parental payor percentage is determined by dividing each parent’s monthly net income by the combined monthly net income. § 61.30(9), Fla. Stat.;
- Each parent’s percentage of the combined net incomes is then applied to the guideline amount plus daycare and health insurance expenses. § 61.30(10), Fla. Stat. In a non-substantial contact adjustment case, the computation would end here. Where the substantial contact adjustment applies, the following occurs, §61.30(11)(b)(1) through (8), Fla. Stat.;
- Calculate the amount of support obligation apportioned to each parent without including daycare and health insurance costs in the calculation and multiply that amount by 1.5;
- Calculate the percentage of overnight stays the child spends with each parent;
- Multiply each parent’s support obligation (subparagraph 6 above) by the percentage of the other parent’s overnight stays with the child;
- The difference between the amounts calculated for each parent shall be the monetary transfer necessary between the parents for the care of the child, subject to an adjustment for daycare and health insurance expenses.
- The parents’ income percentages are then applied to the daycare costs and health insurance costs, with the appropriate credits to the parent paying each expense to arrive at the net amount to be exchanged by the parents.
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